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V Lounge introduces Neapolitan-style pizzas


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POSTED: Friday, September 18, 2009

Honolulu residents no longer need to travel to Italy for a taste of authentic, Neapolitan-style pizza.

After months of planning and a few weeks of heavy buzz via the Internet, the V Lounge introduced its new line of kiawe wood-fired pizzas with a series of VIP tastings last week. The 12-inch pies went on sale to the general public on Saturday, and will be available in the bar from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily.

“;We definitely are offering something different, and people are gonna notice the difference when they taste it,”; said Alejando “;Alex”; Briceno, who joined the staff at V Lounge after serving as pastry chef at Nobu Waikiki. “;We're offering top-notch quality at an affordable price.”;

Briceno, who was born in South America, graduated from culinary school in Spain and spent time living in Italy before moving to the United States. As a Nobu pastry chef, he helped open new locations in San Diego and Mexico before his resignation from the Waikiki restaurant. Now he leads a team of one in making pizzas using a traditional wood-burning stone oven.

“;We actually named it,”; Briceno said of the oven. “;It's called Sandy.”;

Four different types of pizza are offered—a traditional Margherita, Sopressatta, Prosciutto Rucola and Prima—with prices ranging from $12 to $14. Build-your-own pizzas are also available at a base price of $11 (toppings cost between $1 and $3 each).

And the taste? Briceno's creations are currently unmatched when it comes to the quality of ingredients. Factor in the flavors imparted into the dough by the kiawe wood, and this pizza becomes the kind you can't help but burn the top of your mouth with because you're in such a hurry to devour it!

Keep in mind, however, that a limited number of pizzas will be available on any given night, and the bar is adamant about not accepting phone orders or offering takeout for the time being. If you want to try what is arguably the best pizza available in Hawaii right now, you'll have to spend some time in the lounge ...

I'VE BEEN a fan of Guinness for years, so my interest was piqued when I heard about the 250th anniversary of the lease-signing for the Irish brewery where it's brewed.

All the way back in 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on the space that would become the legendary brewery. Next Thursday, bars around the world will celebrate with a special version of Guinness that was brewed in honor of the anniversary.

Here in Honolulu, William Comeford's three bars—O'Toole's, Kelley O'Neil's and the Irish Rose Saloon—will host celebrations both this weekend and next week. Tomorrow, O'Toole's will host “;The Guinness Toast Contest”; finals, with live entertainment to follow by Doolin' Rakes. Warsaw Poland Bros. will also be in town this weekend for performances at all three bars.

While other watering holes served the special 250th-anniversary Guinness this month, Comeford's bars secured the lion's share of the brew (more than three dozen kegs, according to sources). JJ Dolan's ran out quickly, having only received two kegs of the stuff, while Murphy's lasted until last weekend with the limited number of kegs they received.

Unlike regular Guinness, the anniversary beer is carbonated and contains more hops. The overall color of the stout remains pretty dark, but the taste is much lighter and crisper than what you would expect.

“;This is more about refreshment and zing,”; said Guinness master brewer Fergal Murray in a press release ...

CONGRATS TO BYU-Hawaii student and fashion model Conner Coffin, who took the title of “;Hawaii's Most Beautiful Man”; last weekend at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Timothy Rose was first runner-up in the contest, sponsored by 2Couture. Other finalists included Taurean Shaedon, Mahi Kekumu, Eric Walden and Max Tsai.

Coffin, who moved to Hawaii at the age of 21, currently studies biology. He plans to continue on to medical school and a career as a doctor in Seattle following his time here ...

WEEKEND PICKS: Looks like the '90s are starting to make a comeback—after SoHo Mixed Media Bar launched its “;Hollaaaa!!!”; monthly last weekend, thirtyninehotel steps up with “;Schwing!”; tonight in Chinatown. DJs Eskae and Jami will spin a mix of golden-era hip-hop, house and mainstream hits with a rave anthem or two thrown in for good measure. Party like it's 1992 starting at 9 p.m. ... Head to Waikiki tonight for an evening of fun with two reality TV stars. Joanna “;Cocktail”; Hernandez (from “;For the Love of Ray-J”;) and Daniel “;Fox”; Alfonso (from “;Daisy of Love”;) will be the special guest hosts at LEVEL4's “;The Peach.”; Doors open at 10 p.m. ... Seattle-based burlesque dancer The Shanghai Pearl is the featured guest performer at tomorrow's “;Speakeasy: The History of Burlesque”; at the Mercury Bar. She'll be joined by the ladies of Cherry Blossom Cabaret and DJ Kitty Lee. Doors open at 9 p.m., and you can save $2 on the $10 cover charge by dressing up as your favorite dead person. Performances start at 10:30 p.m. ...